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DIRECTIVES- Mains-2015
August 26, 2015

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Introduction
Paper 2

Written by IASbaba

* IASbabas ILP 2016 Road to


Mussoorie *

Decoding Directives

International Relations

Paper 1
Paper 3

Paper 4

Decoding the Directives


Babas Monthly Magazine- September
2015- NEW*
NOTE- PHASE-2 of our Think & Learn will be announced
very soon. Equip yourself with the understanding of
Directives which is very important.
Have you always been confused between the terms,
critically examine and examine? Did you lose crucial
marks in Mains just because you couldnt differentiate
between Differentiate and Analyze? Have you ever
analyzed the similarities between Comment and
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Assess?

Well, fret not, as your beloved Baba is here with an article


that describes, analyzes, assesses and elucidates each
of the directives that the UPSC can throw at us. Ever since
the pattern was changed, the Mains examination has
relied heavily on the use of these special directives, so
much so that, in 2014 more than 30 questions out of the
four GS papers had the usage of these special key-words.
Thus one should give special focus and attention to these

New posts on IASbaba


Protected: TLP: SOCIOLOGY [DAY 45]
November 3, 2015

words.

Protected: TLP: GEOGRAPHY [DAY 55 & 56]

Now, we shall examine the various directives critically,


and we also request you to continue to discuss by
critically commenting below

November 3, 2015
Protected: TLP: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
[DAY 54] November 3, 2015
Protected: TLP: HISTORY [DAY 54] November 3,
2015
TLP OPTIONAL: UPSC OPTIONAL ANSWER

1) Comment

WRITING November 3, 2015

This is the most used directive in all the papers. The


question usually gives an unbiased/biased statement and
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asks the student to comment on it. We are supposed to

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be neutral and write various facts and viewpoints


regarding that particular statement.
Imagine yourself to be a commentator like Navjot Singh
Siddhu or Ravi Shashtri
Can you connect?
For example, in 2013, this question was asked in GS 2
Electronic cash transfer system for the welfare schemes
is an ambitious project to minimize corruption, eliminate
wastage and facilitate reforms. Comment

In this question, one has to write various points regarding


the DBT, various other facts regarding it, dimensions,
governmental missions and some recent examples of
such cash transfers. More points can be added regarding
how it minimizes corruption and eliminates wastage. By
the time one covers these points, he would have
successfully commented for over 200 words, which is
what the examiner wants.

Think, Learn & Perform Mains-2015


Think, Learn & Perform (TLP) UPSC GS Mains
[Day 65]
Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains

2) Critically comment
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Synopsis [Day 64]

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Imagine in the same question, instead of just comment,


the additional keyword critically is added. In such cases,
we need to give both pros and cons, both positives and

Baba's Daily Current Affairs

negatives. We need to answer by giving the story of both

IASbabas Daily Current Affairs 2nd

sides of the coin. In this question, one needs to highlight


how difficult it is to implement cash transfers, how

November, 2015

financial literacy has not reached the rural stage etc. In

NEW INITIATIVE: MIND MAPS OF EDITORIALS

such a question, one needs to give a balanced answer


covering all the points and dimensions.

TLP History

Here you are ARNAB GOSWAMI of Times Now


Protected: TLP: HISTORY [DAY 54]
Protected: TLP HISTORY [DAY 53]

3) Examine
Here we need to look into the topic asked in detail, try to
understand it, inspect it, investigate it and establish the

TLP Antropology

key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While


doing so we should explain why these facts and issues
are important and their implications. True examination
comes when one analyzes all the various angles of the

Protected: TLP: ANTHROPOLOGY [POST 20]


Protected: TLP: ANTHROPOLOGY [POST 19]

question.
Here you are Boymkesh Bakshi, The Detective

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In 2014, this question was asked in GS-3


How does illegal transborder migration pose a threat to
Indias security? Examine the strategies to curb this,
bringing out the factors which give impetus to such
migration.

In this question, one needs to divide the answer in various


parts to addres each issue that is asked. The first part
would contain the definition of illegal transborder
migrtaion, along with examples and must examine how it
affects the countrys security.

In the next part, we need to list down the various


strategies and then examine the various factors that
affect it. So, here examining any issue would go deep into
the technical and conceptual details. Thus, examine is
deeper than comment, but less deeper than analyze.

4) Critically examine
Same as above, but must give both positives and
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negatives. After examining both sides of the issue, one


can give an apt balanced conclusion satisfying the
examiner. That is, we need to weigh the arguments for
and against something, assess the strength of the
evidence on both sides. Using a certain criteria to guide
your examination of which opinions, theories, models or
items are preferable.

5) Evaluate

To identify and to write about the main issues, giving your


reactions based upon what you have read or heard in
various newspapers, lectures and reports. Avoid purely
personal opinion.

There was a question in 2013s GS-1 which deals with


this directive

The New Economic Policy 1921 of Lenin had influenced


the policies adopted by India soon after independence.
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Evaluate.

6) Analyze
To examine in very close detail and to identify the various
important points and chief features.

7) Discuss
This is another common directive which is an allencompassing one you have to debate on paper by
going through the details of the issues concerned by
examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for
both for and against arguments. And once all the
discussion is done, a suitable apt conclusion may be
given at the end of the answer.

8) Narrate
To concentrate on saying what happened, telling it as a
story in a good flow. It is better to use paragraph style
answer writing in such questions instead of points style.
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9) Enumerate
This directive would want the student to list out a
sequence of points, like the 8 MDGs or the various
constitutional articles dealing with Fundamental Rights.
So, enumeration here means listing down a list of points.

10) Justify
This is a fairly simple directive to understand. Usually an
opinionated statement is given, and we are asked to give
various explanations, alongwith facts and theories to truly
justify the statement We have to prove alongwith
credible evidence that the given statement is true indeed.

11) Differentiate
To distinguish between two or three various items and
bring out the differences between them.

12) Explain
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Here the student should clearly express why something


happens, or why something is the way it is. He needs to
look at a subject in depth taking note of the detail and if
appropriate, consider the implications, and should explain
them in good simple language.

2014s GS 3 paper had this question


While we flaunt Indias demographic dividend, we ignore
the dropping rates of employability. What are we missing
while doing so? Where will the jobs that India desperately
needs come from? Explain.

These are the most common directives that are usually


oft-repeated in the Mains. There might be some rare ones
which do pop out from time to time, like Give your
arguments, Do you agree, Bring out the relationship
between.. and many more. They will be very direct and
obvious, so there is no need to break our heads on them.

While some are very straight-forward, like, Why?, How?,


etc which can be solved by everyone without much
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thinking on the directive.

Let us try to answer a simple question now, using the


various directives here, so that we understand the exact
minute difference between each.

After the World War 2, the strategy of the West towards


Soviet block crystallised as a Policy of Containment.
Comment.

Note here that the keyword here is Comment, so we can


write various points related to the policy of containment
directly without any confusion. Do give a short
introduction in the starting so that the structure looks
good. So, the model answer for this directive would be

Ans) Post World War 2, the western countries policies


toward third world was guided by policy of containment
of soviet bloc rather than appeasing them. The
containment events are:
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a) Truman Doctrine: This doctrine assured to provide


political, military and economic assistance to all
democratic nations under threat from external or internal
authoritarian forces implicitly against soviet influence.
b) Cuban Missile Crisis: This trail of suspicion made US
to delink its relation with cuba for the last 5 decades,
which was done to contain the soviet influence.
c) Arming Militants in Afghanistan: To bail-out the soviet
intrusion in Afghanistan, the west deliberately armed the
local militants to stop soviet expansion.
d) NATO the military block formed not due to
cooperation, rather due to suspicion and containing the
soviet influence.
e) Vietnam and Korean Wars: The fear of socialism
influence by Russia, made the western countries to
deliberately interfere in these wars though their own
interests were not at stake.
In all these cases, the main proponent is containing
communism rather than appeasing the third world for
friendship. The 21st century demands appeasement
rather than containment.
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So, in this we can see that not much analysis or


discussion has happened. The answer has just a list of
various incidents and a line commenting on each one of
them.

Now, what if the directive had changed?

Let the new question be

After the World War 2, the strategy of the West towards


Soviet block crystallised as a Policy of Containment.
Analyze.

Ans) The policy of containment was an US policy to


control the expansion of communism. It was triggered by
Berlin crisis of 1948 when Soviet Russia blocked the
entry of Western allied powers into Berlin.
After Berlin crisis, US and the other western powers
followed an active policy to control soviet expansion. For
this they adopted various diplomatic, economic and
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military measures. Starting from Berlin crisis, the growing


tension was visible in Korean War and reached a deadlock
during Cuban missile crisis. US became so much
occupied with policy of containment that it started direct
intervention, both diplomatic and military in many
countries like Chile and Vietnam. The underlying
philosophy was that if communism is unchecked it will
lead to a domino effect and will capture the whole world
in its clutch.
US and allied powers were as much responsible as was
Soviet Russia for this cold war. Both lacked trust and
mutual pragmatism. The leaders were egoistic which
became quite apparent during Cuban crisis when US
President Kennedy made an under-the-table deal with
Soviets to make US look good. The doctrine of peaceful
coexistence as proposed by NAM movement came as a
respite but the two blocks kept pursuing their own policy
of establishing regional dominance.
Cold war came to an end in early 1990s. That too was a
time and need precipitated event and there was hardly any
mutual agreement b/w the two powers for that. The clash
of ego and hegemonic rivalry b/w two super-powers can
only be blamed for continuance of policy of
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containment for such an extended time.

Do you see the difference in the two answers? One is


comment and the other is analyze?

Now that we have understood how the various directives


work, we have truly understood the requirement of every
question that comes in the UPSC paper. Once we have
started understanding the directives asked in the question,
it would become very easy to write the perfect apt answer.
So, now is the perfect time to start practicing answer
formulation, as we now know how to decode the
requirement of the question.

To help you in this, we, at IASbaba, shall soon start the


Phase-2 of the Think and Learn Initiative, where tougher
questions are going to be asked, with all the above
directives. And we expect all the answers to be as apt as
possible, and we expect all of us to have a lot of fun in the
next 3 months. We request all of you to participate and
remove your inhibitions by not being a silent spectator.
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It is fine to follow but if you really want to succeed or do


well in Mains-2015, then your silence can harm when your
competitors are using every bit of support from IASbaba.
After all you have to face competition and we have
already increased to a minimum extent at least.

All the very best.

If you like it, Kindly share

Related

IASbaba's Mains
StrategyIntroduction
July 22, 2015
In "IASbaba's
Mains Strategy"
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Think and LearnUPSC Mains [Day


1]
June 29, 2015
In "Think and
Learn-2015"

IASbaba UPSC
Civil Services Mains
Strategy Paper 2
August 31, 2015
In "IASbaba's
Mains Strategy"

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IASbaba's Mains Strategy, IASbaba's Think and Learn-Mains 2015


Directives in Mains Examination, UPSC Mains 2015 IASbaba

Comments Community

Recommend 3

Join the discussion

Persepolis

5 days ago

@IASbaba Could you please explain "Critically Analyse"?

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Sankar92

15 days ago

I want to start preparing for UPSC. Can anyone help me out with Prelims mains syllabus........????

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Heisenberg

a month ago

Guruji plz explain a few more words like1. Elucidate 2. Simplify 3.narrate 4. Argue 5.Review
thank you :)

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Heisenberg > Heisenberg

18 days ago

babaji plz reply !!!!!!!!!!!


kp

Reply Share

a month ago

its soooo good..... thanks a lot baba jee

Reply Share

ruchi

a month ago

thank you babaji...I am new here and feel very enlightened after reading your posts...

Reply Share

Free_man

a month ago

thanks a lot baba ji

Reply Share

Rahul Barwal

a month ago

Thank you sir , these terms were troubling me a lot while answering the questions and also i was not able to locate
decent source for these terms.

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rajneesh
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a month ago
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jai ho babaji

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Kumar Swamy

2 months ago

Thank you for helping us sir...

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Rajashekar

2 months ago

thank u sir....explained well the subtle differences.

Reply Share

devil

2 months ago

Arnam Goswami and talking of both sides! :-o


2

MANAN

Reply Share

2 months ago

IAS BABAJI, plz ans d MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION-IS IT SAFE TO WRITE IN POINTS?

Reply Share

Zuzu > MANAN

2 months ago

Hi Manan, I think that if the question specifically asks to 'enumerate' - then, the answer should be written in
points. But, when the question asks to 'analyze/discuss/examine etc., then probably one can do it better by
writing paragraphs. Anyways, UPSC should not penalize us if we write answers in points:)
2

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MANAN > Zuzu

2 months ago

thanks a lot...
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Bhavana H S

Reply Share

2 months ago

Babaji, trying to login and create my profile...... It says database error ..... Please help.

Reply Share

MAHA LS

2 months ago

thank you sir!really usefull, directives are easy to understand.

Reply Share

shalini verma

2 months ago

Thanku Baba!! For some one who stays away from the hustle bustle of Delhi, this comes nothing short of a boon!
Awaiting more boons to be granted to us.!!

Reply Share

Pratim Das

2 months ago

REALLY USEFUL

Reply Share

dark matter

2 months ago

very lucidly explained...must read post..thanx babaji

Reply Share

nadan_parinda

2 months ago

Very helpful. I am totally new this time and i know this initiative gonna help me alot

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IASbaba

Admin

> nadan_parinda 2 months ago

Welcome :)


zuzu

Reply Share

2 months ago

Thank You baba! Somehow, I knew this coming :P

Reply Share

Shruthi

2 months ago

I think now you touched the core of the preparation. This was the most neglected VIP.

Reply Share

RAHUL SENGAR

2 months ago

@IASbaba....nice job babaji... :)....need help in philosophy optional

Reply Share

IASbaba

Admin

> RAHUL SENGAR 2 months ago

Cannot guarantee Rahul. Trying our best :)


UMI

Reply Share

2 months ago

BABA.....RE......BABA...!!! UDDii.....BABA.. :D
What an explanation ....Commendable job indeed. I must say if this is the Platform then "Ho jaaye" .. :) We will give
our best.. (Y). Do cover Essay topics also BABA JI !!._/\_... at least on weekends ... Eagerly waiting for the
"PRASAD".... Jaldi Aashirvaad do BABA.. :-)

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IASbaba

Admin

> UMI 2 months ago

Thanks UMI. We'll cover EVERYTHING in our Mains strategy ! Dont worry


Billu

Reply Share

2 months ago

babaji r u making ny plan/schedule of mains 2015 like that of prelims


on day x , 5 question of paper 2 on day x+1 .. something like that so that we have adequate writing practice and at th
same time complete the syllabus .

Reply Share

IASbaba

Admin

> Billu 2 months ago

Yes Billu. much more than that. just wait for a few days. It'll cover everything for Mains.


Aladdin

Reply Share

2 months ago

Baba :)
1. If the "critically" prefix is there, we've to write both pros & cons....otherwise not ??
2. Where can we give our OWN opinion ?
3. You mean "analyze" is more deeper than "examine" ? How much deeper ??

Reply Share

IASbaba

Admin

> Aladdin 2 months ago

1. Not so black and white. Think according to the question also. But when there's "critically" given , you have
to give pros and cons.
2. In discuss. Also in others you MAY give some opinion in conclusion.
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3. Comment < Examine < Analyze (in terms of depth) . But again not so black and white. Be flexible while
answer writing.


Niranjan P

Reply Share

2 months ago

bring it on

Reply Share

IASbaba

Admin

> Niranjan P 2 months ago

Brace yourself. You won't be able to handle the first punch :). But full marks for enthusiasm.
2
Priya

Reply Share

2 months ago

Baba just wanted to ask if you will be coming up with a strategy for sociology optional...
1

Reply Share

IASbaba

Admin

> Priya 2 months ago

Priya and Shiv Kumar ,


We are trying to connect with subject experts and successful candidates. If only BABA knew sociology you
wouldn't have to ask :). We don't want to give out just any strategy. :)

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Suyog Parkar > IASbaba

2 months ago

+1 for Sociology.Babaji we need it.

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Priya > IASbaba


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Thank you

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Shiva Kumar > Priya

2 months ago

Baba need sociology optional guidance ....


1
Lee min

Reply Share

2 months ago

Baba.... :)
Hope everyone is doing well... Just today checked all the mails from babai as I Was away from internet coverage
after the exam... Was excited after seeing this :-)
No idea about mains and my only hope is you baba
Also if possible please post strategy for history optional

Reply Share

IASbaba

Admin

> Lee min 2 months ago

Lee
Can't promise on optional as of now but be rest assured about Mains and other things :)

Reply Share

Draconian > IASbaba

2 months ago

babaji i too need history optional guidance


winveeyes

Reply Share

2 months ago

Everybody has all the information. But this is the area where most of us fails, that is in identifying the question asked
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Thank You so much my guru IAS Baba ji _/\_ No words! Kudos!

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IASbaba

Admin

> winveeyes 2 months ago

Identifying the question correctly helps you keep within word limit and write only what is required.


Ramnik Gupta

Reply Share

2 months ago

baba what is your guess at the cuttoff if any?

Reply Share

IASbaba

Admin

> Ramnik Gupta 2 months ago

Ramnik, we've clearly mentioned and requested everyone to not get into cut-off discussion. Please realize
there's absolutely no point in doing so. Even if you scored below your expectation , try to put it behind you.
Don't go by the scores floating around. Best of luck
1
Vini

Reply Share

2 months ago

Very nice explanation babaji.... u hv so nicely connected the Directives with the famous persons like Navjot Sigh
Siddhu nd Boymksh Bakshi that it bcme very easy to understand, remember nd follow, with suitable examples. Also
it was like LEARN WITH FUN ;-):-)
Thank u Babaji...!!!
1

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IASbaba

Admin

> Vini 2 months ago

Welcome Vini :)
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amit

2 months ago

Baba, thank you so much for taking "Avtar" before it's too late.
From last one year, i was thinking to take this exam but due to lack of guidance and paucity of time i couldn't act
seriously. I did not believe that this preparation can be done without going to Delhi.
But when UPSC notification came this year, i decided to write this exam. ON 30-31st may i downloaded NCERT an
some coaching material available on net. From 1st june, started studying. On week days, i studied max 5-6 hours, a
i am a working aspirant and has to cook myself. I got only one weekly off/week and read around 8-9 hours.
Around 15 jun, came to know about IAS-baba and started following it. Though I could not complete the whole syllabu
in such a short time but still I did manage to solve 48 question right on D-day (wont be able to qualify due to 20 wron
answers). Yet feeling elated. While reading the questions on 23rd aug, i felt familiar with the pattern of questions,
which was surely due to your prelim test series. In spite of not being able to write mains this year, I am looking
forward for your phase-2 initiative.May the good work continue.
Initiative like this is the reason which make people like us to believe that UPSC can be cracked without coaching an
with self study. The knowledge gaining process through your "think and learn initiative" has been fun. All the revision
notes were the quality source to revise whatever i had read.
With-in 3 months feeling much more confident about myself. Turned a bit more responsible towards my country.
Started loving more the diversity and of course become bit more sensitive towards biodiversity.;);)
Long live baba! Keep coaching us! We count on you.:):)
see more

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raj > amit

2 months ago

keep your spirit high..............you can be in mains list....


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ALSO ON IASBABA

Protected: 4) World Bank and planning commission of India

6 comments 6 hours ago

IASbaba It is not as simplistic as 'connecting northern rivers to

answer (highly not feasible). Talk about possiblities and potential

Protected: 3. The Indo-Pak joint Ufa declaration and the stance


contrast
30 comments 2 days ago

adityaka The vacillating nature of Pakistani foreign policy with

positions being taken in the Ufa summit and the Pakistani

Protected: TLP: HISTORY [DAY 54]


11 comments 6 hours ago

Annie Ulajho mat suljhao :-)

Protected: 8. It is unfortunate that the Parliament is not functioning

10 comments 6 hours ago

IASbaba Rahul you have done critical analysis in a question where

theme should be Social movement and plausablity of a social

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